A new study has revealed that the social media news consumers are at a higher risk of "information bubbles."
Researchers at Indiana University have found that people who seek out news and information from social media are at higher risk of becoming trapped in a "collective social bubble" compared to using search engines.
The results are based on an analysis of over 100 million Web clicks and 1.3 billion public posts on social media.
These findings provide the first large-scale empirical comparison between the diversity of information sources reached through different types of online activity, said lead author Dimitar Nikolov, adding "Our analysis shows that people collectively access information from a significantly narrower range of sources on social media compared to search engines."
The results show the rise of a "collective social bubble" where news is shared within communities of like-minded individuals, said Nikolov, noting a trend in modern media consumption where "the discovery of information is being transformed from an individual to a social endeavor."
He added that people who adopt this behavior as a coping mechanism for "information overload" may not even be aware they're filtering their access to information by using social media platforms, such as Facebook, where the majority of news stories originate from friends' postings.
The study is published in the journal PeerJ Computer Science.